The hockey world is sending their well wishes to former Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato after he announced Sunday that he has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
In 2016, Granato stepped away from his assistant coach role with the Detroit Red Wings to become the head coach of his alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers. He’s currently working as a TV analyst for the Chicago Blackhawks.
“I debated how to share this news, but I will be taking a temporary leave of absence from NBC Sports Chicago and Blackhawks broadcasts, as well as (the) NHL Network,” Granato announced on X.
“I was recently diagnosed with a form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and will begin treatment this week.”
Granato joined the Penguins staff with coach Dan Bylsma on Aug. 5, 2009. He oversaw the defensemen and the penalty killing until the staff was fired (or not retained) in June 2014.
Just a couple of weeks later, Granato joined the Red Wings staff under coach Mike Babcock and then under Jeff Blashill.
Granato spent seven seasons as the head coach of Wisconsin in the Big 10, finishing first in 2020-21. However, the university did not retain him for this season.
His X post continued:
“I wish I could reach out to everyone individually, but felt like this was the best way to share the news. My family, faith, and friends will be my strength to help me through my treatments. I appreciate all of the love and support I have received already.
“With the holiday season here, cherish the times with your loved ones, as I know I will.”
Granato’s NHL playing career included time with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks. He netted 30 or more goals four times. He was an NHL All-Star Game selection in 1996-97. That same season, he won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to the game of hockey.
In 774 NHL games, he scored 492 points, including 248 goals.